Digital Catapult, Coast to Capital LEP, Wired Sussex and the University of Brighton welcomed leaders from the region’s digital technology community to FuseBox in Brighton to unveil the UK’s latest 5G testbed and showcased some of the region’s most innovative and exciting immersive technology companies.
The 5G Brighton testbed will allow Brighton-based small businesses to benefit from state of the art 5G mobile wireless communications, and provide space to test and explore the potential new applications of 5G. The immersive technology showcase presented the best of local virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality technologies, demonstrating the breadth and depth of technological innovation and development in Brighton. The 5G Brighton testbed will also help to meet the commitment in the government’s Industrial Strategy for the UK to be a world-leader in 5G technology.
The facility provides an environment where startups and scaleups can access the most advanced digital technology solutions, including an Immersive Lab, enabling these businesses to grow faster. Digital Catapult and partners encourage local companies to register to take part in using the testbed to develop their ideas.
Sam Gyimah, Science Minister, said: “From virtual to mixed reality, this new 5G testbed will provide the opportunity for bright ideas to flourish, demonstrating the potential of creative and digital sectors in Brighton, and showcasing our modern Industrial Strategy in action.”
Dr Jeremy Silver, CEO, Digital Catapult, said: "The 5G Brighton testbed lets companies experiment with new applications and services which take advantage of the unique nature of 5G. This is a major step forward in the wider roll out of this advanced technology, helping take the technology out of university labs and into the market.
5G represents more than just faster internet on the move, it’s the first mobile technology that, by design, enables free standing setup in individual locations, offers new companies the opportunity to control their own networks, and enables operators to manage computing at the edge as a new business model for the future."
Jonathan Sharrock, Chief Executive at Coast to Capital said: “We are thrilled to have contributed Local Growth Funding towards the 5G Brighton project which is crucial to development key digital sectors in Brighton and the wider region as identified in our Strategic Economic Plan ‘Gatwick 360’. This project enables a number of our strategic priorities to progress including innovation and improving digital network capability.
We look forward to working with partners to ensure that our area is well equipped to be at the forefront of emerging technologies and uphold our reputation as a great place to live, work and succeed.”
Sophie Dixon, Co-Founder of Mnemoscene, said: “Mnemoscene is excited to be given the opportunity to develop the use case for 5G at the testbed. There are many dynamic startups like ours in Brighton and this testbed gives us a real opportunity to innovate using this potentially groundbreaking and disruptive technology.”
Simon Campbell, Group IT Director at Ricardo, the global engineering and environment consultancy who will be amongst the first to use the 5G testbed, commented: “Innovation and technology are at the heart of Ricardo’s business, so we are excited by the arrival of 5G technology in the Greater Brighton area. We look forward to engaging with the 5G testbed and continuing our collaboration with the innovative companies that Fusebox attracts and supports.”
5G offers a significant opportunity for the UK in bringing together the worlds of mobile and internet, helping to increase speed and improve bandwidth, and presenting huge opportunities for businesses and consumers. It has the potential to open up a range of new possibilities; support for autonomous cars, better support for the application of Internet of Things in healthcare, logistics, manufacturing, and support for more interactive and new models of content creation and consumption of media. 5G will also allow mobile communications to underpin digital transformation of economic activity in the same way that it underpinned the digital transformation enabled by the roll out of 4G.
Please visit the Digital Catapult website to read more about the 5G Brighton Testbed.
About Digital Catapult
Digital Catapult is the UK’s leading advanced digital technology innovation Centre, driving early adoption of technologies to make UK businesses more competitive and productive to grow the country’s economy.
We connect large established companies, startup and scaleup businesses and researchers to discover new ways to solve big challenges in the manufacturing and creative industries. Through this collaboration businesses are supported to develop the right technologies to solve problems, increase productivity and open up new markets faster.
Digital Catapult provides physical and digital facilities for experimentation and testing that would otherwise not be accessible for smaller companies.
As well as breaking down barriers to technology adoption for startups and scaleups, our work de-risks innovation for large enterprises and uncovers new commercial applications in immersive, future networks, and artificial intelligence technologies. For more info please visit www.digicatapult.org.uk
Other notes to editors
The University of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) and University of Bristol have played an important role in developing the 5G Brighton testbed - find out more at www.surrey.ac.uk/5gic and www.bristol.ac.uk/engineering/research/smart/projects/uk-5g/
Local Enterprise Partnerships are playing a vital role in driving forward economic growth across the country, helping to build a country that works for everyone. That’s why by 2021 Government will have invested over £12bn through the Local Growth Fund, allowing LEPs to use their local knowledge to get all areas of the country firing on all cylinders. Analysis has shown that every £1 of Local Growth Fund invested could generate £4.81 in benefits.
If you would like some further facts about the Fund, or the wider regeneration work going on across the country, please contact the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) press office by emailing NewsDesk@communities.gsi.gov.uk.
- The government has awarded £9.1bn in three rounds of Growth Deals to local areas to drive economic growth.
- LEPs are investing in a wide range of projects informed by detailed analysis of the most pressing economic needs in each of their areas, including transport, skills, business support, broadband, innovation and flood defences.
- The Coast to Capital Strategic Economic Plan - Gatwick 360˚ - can be downloaded from our website.
Priority 1 - Deliver prosperous urban centres
Priority 2 - Develop business infrastructure and support
Priority 3 - Invest in sustainable growth
Priority 4 - Create skills for the future
Priority 5 - Pioneer innovation in core strengths
Priority 6 - Promote better transport and mobility
Priority 7 - Improve digital network capability
Priority 8 - Build a strong national and international identity